It’s a long season so it’s obviously too early to get worried in New York, but it’s not easy being a Yankee and expectations are much higher than in some organizations around Major League Baseball. As a result, you know that unestablished players like third baseman Cody Ransom (.083/.153/.125) and center-fielder Brett Gardner (.227/.261/.273) could spend a significant amount of time on the hot seat whenever the club struggles – like it is now.
The fourth-place Yankees have a number of interesting names currently playing just one stop away from the Major Leagues in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Ransom will eventually be replaced by the rehabbing third-base incumbent Alex Rodriguez. However, if the club gets tired of the sub-.200 average that Ransom is providing in the meantime, Eric Duncan could receive a look. The former No. 1 draft pick is currently hitting .286/.412/.286 in 14 at-bats in Triple-A, although he’s no longer considered a ‘first-round talent.’ Angel Berroa, who received some consideration for the roster spot that Ransom currently owns, is hitting .318 in 22 at-bats.
Gardner is currently struggling a bit in the Big Apple, but top prospect Austin Jackson – who just happens to play center field – is smoking hot in Triple-A. The 22-year-old phenom is currently hitting .500/.538/.591 with six RBI in five games. If we’re nitpicking for negatives, he has just one extra base hit (a triple).
First baseman Mark Teixeira has been limited to just 16 at-bats, thanks to a bad wrist. However, Nick Swisher has stepped up and is currently hitting .450/.542/1.150 in 20 at-bats. He’s doing it all, too. Swisher is evening taking to the mound and out-performing Chien-Ming Wang! If the Yankees need more pop at first base, especially if the Teixeira injury lingers, the club can dip down to Triple-A where Juan Miranda is hitting a tidy .417/.462/.750 with 11 RBI in five games.
On the pitching side, starter Ian Kennedy struck out 11 batters and walked no one in his only start. Reliever David Robertson has appeared in two games and has yet to allow a run in five innings. He’s allowed two hits, one walk and has struck out 10. Mark Melancon has struck out seven batters in 3.2 innings and has yet to allow a hit or a walk.
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